The 'studio' is typically viewed as being central to the role of educating architecture students because it facilitates learning during the design process, it encourages the integration of knowledge and skills, and it generates an environment where professional norms and standards are cultivated. The lineage of the 'studio' in architectural education extends back to the first 'university' courses in the 19th century and before these aspects of the master/apprenticeship model, in the 17th and 18th centuries. A recent comprehensive study of Architectural Educators in Australasia (Ostwald & Williams 2008) revealed that definitions of the studio and associated practices were for the most part polarised. In Australia, the studio may physically range from a dedicated workspace - for groups of students to work and learn in - to a hot-desking arrangement, to a generic tutorial space. For some, the studio has ceased to include the physical workspace for students and become the approach to teaching design or the reference to the unit of study. Despite this difference of opinion, it is a common assumption that the studio is a familiar and well-understood concept amongst architectural educators. This paper will discuss the new context that the studio operates within and explore the issues and factors that have prompted such quandaries and for some, opportunities to expand the approaches used to teach design. The paper will also draw on, and make comparisons with, with studies from Europe and Northern America.
ConnectED 2010: 2nd International Conference on Design Education. Proceedings of ConnectED 2010: 2nd International Conference on Design Education (Sydney 28 June - 1 July, 2010)